Claudia Viles, the Anson tax collector accused of misappropriating more than $430,000 in town money, has withdrawn a request that the state return $58,500 in cash police seized from her home in April.

The motion to recover property filed in Somerset County Superior Court claims that state police illegally seized $58,500 in cash from a safe in Viles’ garage while executing a search warrant in April.

That request was withdrawn Friday, five days after the town of Anson filed a civil lawsuit accusing Viles of stealing $438,712 from the town over the last four years.

“Given the recent civil lawsuit and additional work we want to do, it made sense not to lose our focus,” Walter McKee, Viles’ attorney, said in an email Monday. “We can always bring the motion again later — and we will — and we lose nothing by setting the issue aside for now.”

The motion was originally rejected by the state attorney general in July and was scheduled to go before a judge Monday morning.

Tim Feeley, a spokesman for the Office of the Maine Attorney General, said Monday he could not comment on the motion. The attorney general is investigating the money missing from the town office, but no charges have yet been filed in the case.


On Aug. 10, the town filed a lawsuit accusing Viles, who is still working at the town office, of stealing $438,712 in excise tax money over the last four years. The suit says that she omitted amounts she collected from residents who paid their vehicle taxes when she recorded them, knowingly recorded inaccurate amounts she collected in excise tax and reprinted calculator tapes with altered figures to make it appear that the amount of money collected matched what was being deposited.

An initial figure of $78,645 in missing excise tax was reported to residents at Town Meeting in March after an audit. State police executed the search warrant at Viles’ home on April 16 and seized $58,500 in cash that they said was related to an investigation into the missing money. The money was in a safe in her garage.

Additional auditor’s reports have revealed discrepancies between the amount of excise tax collected and the amount deposited in the town’s accounts totaling $112,491 in 2013, $125,356 in 2012 and $110,756 in 2011.

The lawsuit was filed by the town and the Maine Municipal Association, the town’s insurance carrier, after a claim was made in an effort to recover some of the money.

Viles has 20 days from the day the suit was filed to submit a response to the court.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

Comments are no longer available on this story